Drug Investigation Division

The TBI’s Drug Investigation Division (DID) investigates and assists in the prosecution of crimes involving controlled substances, narcotics, and other illegal drugs.


Assistant Director
Darryl Richardson

In order to complete its mission, the division has original jurisdiction in opening cases involving illegal drugs and at any time could have more than 600 active cases.

Special Agents assigned to the Drug Investigation Division cooperate with local, state, and especially federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Tennessee’s United States Attorney’s offices. In addition, TBI Agents participate in a variety of collaborative efforts to address the drug issues in Tennessee.

Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force

TN Dangerous Drugs Task Force

The Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force (TDDTF) is a partnership of federal, state, and local agencies collaborating to reduce the availability and illegal use of harmful scheduled drugs.

The TDDTF educates the public about the dangers of all scheduled drugs and works to support law enforcement and other stakeholders by supplying equipment, training, intelligence, and investigative tools to assist in strategically identifying, targeting, and prosecuting drug offenders.

The motto of the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force continues to be “Protect, Enforce, and Educate.”

Tennessee Alliance For Drug-Endangered Children

Tennessee Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

The Tennessee Alliance for Drug-Endangered Children (TADEC) is comprised of federal, local, and state agencies who share a goal to “prevent drug-related harm to children and rescue, shelter, and support Tennessee’s children who suffer physical and psychological harm caused by the manufacture, distribution, sale, and abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol.” 

TADEC is passionately committed to protecting the drug-endangered children of Tennessee by generating a renewed collaboration of resources from multidiscipline organizations and jurisdictions in the responsibility of protecting these children. Oftentimes, drug-endangered children are left to fend for themselves and the TADEC is committed to providing these children an opportunity to be protected from an environment they have done nothing to cause and from which they should have some recourse.

CONTACT:  Tabatha Curtis, Statewide Coordinator

There are currently six DID Special Agents dedicated to combating prescription drug diversion and are stationed throughout the state.  While we continue to make progress reducing prescription drug issues, illicit opioid drug use continues to spawn the proliferation of heroin/fentanyl. Individuals seeking prescription drugs like Hydrocodone have found that heroin is cheaper and more accessible on the street. The increase of heroin abuse has created an epidemic rate increase of overdoses and deaths.

Law enforcement is also witnessing, with heroin, an increase in the presence of Fentanyl (a powerful synthetic oppiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine), and its analogs. Fentanyl is sold as heroin and often laced into other drugs such a heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. 

In response to the threat of overdose to law enforcement and lab personnel, the TBI has issued its agents Narcan dispensers for emergency use to assist in the lifesaving efforts of personnel and public. Narcan is an opiate antagonist that acts by blocking the effects of opiate drugs and reversing the event of an overdose. 

Counterfeit Pills
Another phenomenon is the introduction of counterfeit pills. Law enforcement across Tennessee has seen "fake pills" manufactured to look like prescription medications (i.e., Percocet, Hydrocodone, Xanax) through the use of pill presses. These counterfeits are compiled of various concoctions and are not what they appear to be. The most serious of which are pills containing Fentanyl. 


Drug Investigation Division Special Agents assigned to the Appalachia High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area focus their efforts on drug trafficking in counties throughout East and Upper East Tennessee. Established in 1998, the Appalachia HIDTA is comprised of sixty-five, predominately rural counties located within the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. 29 of these counties are in Tennessee. Demographic conditions of the Appalachia HIDTA, including relatively high unemployment and low median family income, create an environment where illegal activities and corruption can flourish.

The Middle Tennessee HIDTA Task Force is in the counties of Middle Tennessee as identified by the Appalachia HIDTA. These counties take in three Tennessee judicial districts. These districts include Fentress County in the 8th Judicial District, Jackson County in the 15th Judicial District, and Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and Cumberland counties in the 13th Judicial District.  The task force is made up of TBI Special Agents and officers from local law enforcement agencies. 

The Gulf Coast HIDTA encompasses designated counties/parishes across the six states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In August 2010, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) designated Shelby County to be included in the Gulf Coast HIDTA. The Gulf Coast HIDTA funds four law enforcement initiatives in Shelby County; the Shelby County HIDTA Drug Task Force led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Shelby County MultiAgency Gang Unit led by the Memphis Police Department, Memphis Case Advocacy Program led by the United States Attorney's Office, and Border Enforcement Security Task Force led by United States Homeland Security Investigations. TBI DID has one Special Agent Criminal Investigator assigned full-time to the Border Enforcement Security Task Force.

The Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication (GTFME) was created by Executive Order No. 51 in 1983. The TBI/TDDTF is an integral member of this task force by operating as the Program Director. The primary objective and mission of the GTFME remains to provide public safety for the citizens of Tennessee through: 

  • Seeking out the eradicating/destroying marijuana which is domestically grown;
  • Prevention and deterrence of marijuana growth in Tennessee by effecting arrests, seizure and forfeiture of
    assets associated with the illegal activity, and prosecution of individuals and groups identified as growers,
    distributors, or sellers of marijuana;
  • Efficient and effective collection, sharing, reporting, and utilization of intelligence information utilizing the
    DI3 database in furtherance of the aforementioned objectives; and
  • Utilization of the latest methods and technology to dismantle, eliminate and/or disrupt these illegal actions.